“But sir,—that there old drorin’-room cab’net wi’ the—carvings—”
“An’ the silver candle-sticks,—and the four-post bed-stead,—an’ the—”
“Buy ’em, Adam,—buy everything! If we haven’t enough money there’s plenty more where this came from,—only buy!—You understand?”
“Oh yes sir, I understand! ’Ow much ’ave you give me? Why, here’s—forty-five,—fifty,—sixty,—Lord!—”
“Put it away, Adam,—forget all about it till to-morrow,—and not a word, mind!”
“A hundred pound!” gasped Adam, “Lord!—Oh I won’t speak of it, trust me, Mr. Belloo, sir! But to think of me a walking about wi’ a hundred pound in my pocket,—Lord! I won’t say nothing—but to think of Old Adam wi’ a hundred pound in his pocket, e’Cod! it do seem that comical!” saying which, Adam buttoned the money into a capacious pocket, slapped it, nodded, and rose. “Well sir, I’ll be going,—there be Miss Anthea in the garden yonder, and if she was to see me now there’s no sayin’ but I should be took a laughin’ to think o’ this ’ere hundred pound.”
“Comin’ through the rose-gardin. She be off to see old Mother Dibbin. They call Mother Dibbin a witch, an’ now as she’s down wi’ the rheumatics there ain’t nobody to look arter ’er,—’cept Miss Anthea,—she’d ha’ starved afore now if it ’adn’t been for Miss Anthea, but Lord love your eyes, an’ limbs, Mr. Belloo sir! Miss Anthea don’t care if she’s a witch, or fifty witches, not she! So good-night, Mr. Belloo sir, an’ mum’s the word!”
Saying which, Adam slapped his pocket again, nodded, winked, and went upon his way.
Of the “Man with the Tiger Mark"
It is a moot question as to whether a curl can be more alluring when it glows beneath the fiery kisses of the sun, or shines demurely in the tender radiance of the moon. As Bellew looked at it now,—that same small curl that nodded and beckoned to him above Anthea’s left ear,—he strongly inclined to the latter opinion.
“Adam tells me that you are going out, Miss Anthea.”
“Only as far as Mrs. Dibbin’s cottage,—just across the meadow.”
“Adam also informs me that Mrs. Dibbin is a witch.”
“People call her so.”
“Never in all my days have I seen a genuine, old witch,—so I’ll come with you, if I may?”
“Oh, this is a very gentle old witch, and she is neither humpbacked, nor does she ride a broom-stick,—so I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed, Mr. Bellew.”
“Then, at least, I can carry your basket,—allow me!” And so, in his quiet, masterful fashion he took the basket from her arm, and walked on beside her, through the orchard.
“What a glorious night it is!” exclaimed Anthea suddenly, drawing a deep breath of the fragrant air,—“Oh! it is good to be alive! In spite of all the cares, and worries, life is very sweet!”